- BBC World News
An “improbable trip”. This is how Reverend Raphael Warnock defined the long path that took him to the United States Senate this Wednesday.
For Warnock, being elected senator from Georgia, a state with a slavery past, is a sign of the advancement of his community.
Warnock made history by winning the second round of the election for a Senate seat, defeating his Republican rival, Kelly Loeffler, and helping the Democrats win a majority in the Upper House.
As an expert on the word, Warnock gave a speech this Wednesday morning in which he spoke of the struggle of the African-American community to have a voice of its own.
” The other day, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick someone else’s cotton went to the polls and elected their youngest son to be a United States senator,” he said of his mother, Serene.
Known for his civil rights activism as well as his 15-year ministry at Ebenezer Baptist Church – where Martin Luther King Jr. preached – Warnock garnered electoral support never before garnered by a US candidate. Black community.
” The improbable journey that took me to this place in this historic moment in the United States could only happen here,” he expressed with emotion in his victory speech.
One of few
Warnock will be just the 11th African-American senator in US history.
He was born into a family of 12 siblings in Savannah, Georgia. His father, Jonathan Warnock, was a reverend and mechanic who marked the path his son would take as an adult.
” He was working with damaged cars all week and then with broken down people on Sunday morning,” Warnock said of his father, who died in 2010 at age 93.
His mother, Serene, was a cotton and tobacco picker as a young woman and also a religious minister. “She told us that we could do whatever we set our minds to,” Warnock said.
As a resident of one of the southern states of the United States that fought to maintain slavery during the American Civil War, he graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, a school in the Afro-descendant community.
In the 1990s, he worked as a youth pastor in New York, then moved to Baltimore, one of the poorest cities in the country.
There he promoted education in his congregation, mainly about the risks of HIV / AIDS, which reached alarming levels among the Black community at that time.
In 2005, Warnock sand became the youngest senior pastor in the history of Ebenezer Baptist Church, which has become synonymous with the history of African Americans’ struggle for civil rights.
Cecilia Baker, a member of his congregation, said Reverend Warnock has “an unwavering commitment to justice.”
” His messages on Sunday are uplifting and almost always educational about the political landscape and how it impacts Black people. He fights for his community from the pulpit, and he will do the same in Washington,” he told NBC.
Your way to the Senate
Warnock’s social activism in recent years was the basis for his political aspirations.
He was arrested in 2014 for participating in a protest against Republicans’ refusal to expand Medicaid health coverage. Three years later, he was again arrested at a health rights protest in Washington DC.
“I wasn’t mad at them (the cops). They were doing their job, and I was doing my job,” Warnock said a few days ago, recalling that latest arrest.
” But in a few days I am going to meet with those Capitol police officers again and this time they will not take me to the police station. They can help me find my new office,” she said with Kamala Harris, the US vice president-elect and first Black woman in that position.
In the campaign, Warnock was also targeted by conservatives in Georgia, who defined him as a radical.
” Warnock is the most radical and dangerous left-wing candidate to ever run for this office, and certainly in the state of Georgia, and he doesn’t have his values,” President Donald Trump said in Georgia on Monday.
Reverend Warnock has said that his principles are driven by his faith: “I have always tried to harness moral truth to create moral good. My whole life has revolved around service. And that doesn’t end at the church door, starts there. “
“I’m humbled by the faith you’ve shown in me. And I promise you this tonight: I’m going to the Senate to work all over Georgia.”
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.